A Kentucky Air National Guard C-130 Hercules aircraft conducts a nonstandard-load training flight in the airspace above Venice, Italy, May 20, 2019, while carrying equipment from U.S. Army Europe’s 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team as part of exercise Immediate Response 2019. The exercise is designed to improve readiness and interoperability among participating allied and partner nations integrated into a multinational battalion. Combined training enables allies and partners to readily respond more effectively to regional crises and meet their own national defense goals. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Horton)
Photo Caption & Credits

Airman for Life

May 29, 2019

Mark Tarpley leader of AFA’s Field Council Advocacy Committee. Courtesy photo

Air Force Association members have a new tool to help them share current issues and advocate for airpower: A series of issue-by-issue communications cards that capture the key details of AFA positions.

AFA’s Field Council Advocacy Subcommittee is led by AFA National Director Mark L. Tarpley, chairman of the Advocacy Integrated Product Team. “AFA members told us in a survey last year that advocacy was their No. 1 issue,” Tarpley said. “These Elevator Speech Cards can really help. They’ll provide short and targeted talking points the AFA Field can use in discussions with elected officials, their staffs, and other community influencers.”

Advocacy IPT team members Gabrielle Kearney and Mary Anne Thompson are the principal authors who did the real work to develop these cards. Chair of AFA Field Council’s Advocacy Subcommittee, Randy Witt, was the first to use them.

The cards capture AFA’s Top Issues as outlined by AFA Senior Director of Government Relations Keith Zuegel, the same document that guides his advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill.

“This is a great way to get familiar with the issues,” Zuegel said. “With these, you can confidently discuss these concerns when you have the chance, and even leave them behind as useful talking points to whoever you’re talking with.”

Zuegel said AFA’s top advocacy goal is ensuring the Air Force receives stable and predictable funding. That’s important not just for new airplanes and equipment, but also for the programs that directly support airmen and their families—pay, bonuses, retirement, Tricare, housing, and more. “Constant reinforcement is needed to keep top AFA issues front of mind for elected officials to drive home the importance of these priorities,” Zuegel said.

Download your Advocacy Cards today at www.afa.org/advocacy-cards.